In this week's College Central, Golf Channel college golf insiders Steve Burkowski and Ryan Lavner break down NCAA conference championship results and preview the men's Big Ten Championship:
Woods leads by three; McIlroy in final group
ATLANTA – Tiger Woods is three shots ahead and one round away from capping his comeback season with a victory.
Woods played the most dynamic golf he has all year with six birdies in his opening seven holes, building as much as a five-shot lead before he cooled off for a 5-under 65 and a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy in the Tour Championship.
He has the 54-hole lead for the first time since his last victory in 2013 at the Bridgestone Invitational. He has never lost an official tournament when leading by more than two shots.
Woods has never been in better position to show he's all the way back.
It will be the first time Woods and McIlroy (66) play in the final group Sunday on the PGA Tour.
Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship
Tiger Woods fired a 5-under 65 on Saturday to build a three-stroke lead over Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy at the Tour Championship. We tracked him.
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Highlights: Tiger fires 65, takes 3-shot lead at East Lake
Following a Saturday 65 at East Lake, Tiger Woods will take a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose into the final round of the Tour Championship.
Woods, 12 under for the week, will be paired with McIlroy in the final round on Sunday, as he hunts his 80th PGA Tour victory and his first win in five years.
The 14-time major winner ran away from the field early, making birdie on six of his first seven holes to go ahead by as many as five.
Woods immediately claimed the outright lead with a birdie at No. 1, whipping the Atlanta crowd into an early frenzy.
Following a 4-foot par save at the second, Woods moved ahead by two and reached 9 under par when he played this approach from 144 yards and sank this 8-footer for birdie at the third.
One hole later, Woods reached double digits at 10 under par when he poured in a bending 21-footer that just crept over the lip.
He made it four birdies in his first five holes when he bombed a 320-yard drive, wedged to 7 feet, and converted again.
He looked in danger of not capitalizing on his first crack at a par-5 after he came out of a fairway wood on his second shot, but a splash from the bunker and a make from 6 feet gave him his fifth circle in six holes.
He went Vintage Tiger at the seventh, playing this fairway bunker shot from 172 yards to 5 feet, setting up his sixth birdie in his first seven holes and advancing him to 13 under, five clear.
Looking to make the turn in 29, Woods instead missed the green at the par-3 ninth, failed to get up and down for par, and had to settle for 5-under 30.
Following pars at 10 and 11, he started looking this approach up and down at the 12th, leading to his seventh birdie of the day.
Woods saw his lead decrease from five to three when he bogeyed the par-4 16th and Rose birdied. Woods missed the fairway and green and then failed to pull off an aggressive flop shot up a steep slope.
A rough lie leads to bogey.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 22, 2018
The lead is 4 for Tiger Woods. pic.twitter.com/92M3qu98Cq
Woods looked in position to pick up one more stroke at the par-5 18th, but proved unable to get up and down for birdie from the back bunker. Instead, he wrapped up a closing par and back-nine 35.
DEFCON Tiger: Woods' Saturday lights Twitter ablaze
Tiger Woods grabbed the Tour Championship lead and the sports world by the throat Saturday, making birdie on six of his first seven holes in his third round and sending social media into a frenzy.
Here's a sampling from athletes, journalists and celebrtiies, and we'll start with two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry.
.@TigerWoods I want whatever you had for breakfast this morning! This is insane— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) September 22, 2018
Tiggggeerrrrrrrr— Mark Ingram II (@MarkIngram22) September 22, 2018
Wow @TigerWoods is ready to go today!— Harry Kane (@HKane) September 22, 2018
Tiger just had his 6th birdie of the day on the 7th hole! pic.twitter.com/eqLFbpEbbG— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) September 22, 2018
Tv on Airplane. Oh boy !!!!— Ricky Barnes (@RealRickyBarnes) September 22, 2018
Tiger is going to win— Paige Spiranac (@PaigeSpiranac) September 22, 2018
Tiger on the loose let’s go! pic.twitter.com/AjMi5p7yym— Evander Kane (@evanderkane_9) September 22, 2018
5 birdies in 6 holes. Only one player is within 6 shots of Tiger. This is outrageous. pic.twitter.com/Ws6A5Neayo— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) September 22, 2018
Make that 5 under thru his 1st 6. Live look at Tiger walking to 7th tee pic.twitter.com/W7T0Kei1rB— trey wingo (@wingoz) September 22, 2018
Feels like 12, 15 years ago, happily chained to my favorite chair watching the field chase Tiger in a big event on a Saturday afternoon...few things like it.— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) September 22, 2018
Modern golf: Loud cheers, limited applause. Hands are occupied taking pictures and video with their phones.— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) September 22, 2018
Tiger has recreated himself again and his putter is hotter than fondue.— Brandel Chamblee (@chambleebrandel) September 22, 2018
Phenomenal to watch.